Chapter Six: Visitors
Edward pulled me tightly against his chest, smoothing my hair from the juu of my head down to my waist. It was zaidi effective than any tranquilizer could have been. Edward’s touch was magical and honestly, it made me feel worse.
“Are wewe going to be all right, Bella?” he asked in his beautiful honeyed voice.
I pulled away from him and looked into his eyes; they were filled with worry, nothing more. His earlier fury had faded away with our run through the woods. I brushed his cheek with my fingertips and he closed his eyes as if to savor the soft touch. “I’m going to be fine, but I doubt your little girlfriend is ever going to let this go,” I teased him.
He groaned and his eyes fluttered open, looking down at me with a humorless stare. “That isn’t funny, Bella,” he alisema stiffly.
“I know I have no reason to be jealous, but I can’t help myself. Edward, wewe have to admit that she is your type,” I whispered in a pained voice. It was true though; the pretty Amber was a brunette, exactly what Edward liked. The worst part was that she was so much zaidi attractive as a human than I had been. I could just imagine the beauty she would possess as an immortal.
“Bella,” Edward groaned again, “Why haven’t wewe figured it out kwa now? wewe are my type. wewe are the only one I have ever loved, have ever wanted. I like brunettes because you, my love, are a brunette.”
I stared at him for several uncomprehending minutes. Was that really true, au was he trying to make me feel better? I searched his eyes and saw nothing but the sincerity of that statement. He really didn’t see anyone but me. It was something I had always known, but occasionally needed to be reminded of. Edward was so perfect it was hard to believe he wanted me in the same way. It was always an overwhelming feeling to know how desperately he loved me.
I buried my face in his neck and clung to him, hoping he wasn’t going to make me relinquish my hold on him anytime soon. I just needed to feel his arms around me, to know he was there for me even if I made him angry.
“So, what do we do now?” I asked, finally raising my head to look him in the eye.
“I think we need to talk to Carlisle,” Edward alisema grimly.
“I was afraid wewe would say that,” I sighed.
It didn’t take us long to reach the hospital, but a part of me wished it had. I didn’t want to see Carlisle’s disappointed face when we walked in the door. I craved his respect as much as I craved Edward’s love. No one was as compassionate au understanding as my father-in-law, I was terrified to see that understanding fade from his eyes. I couldn’t kubeba to have him think less of me.
I took a deep breath before I let Edward lead me into the hospital, not that it helped calm me down in a physical sense, but the very human nature of it helped me relax enough to face Carlisle.
Edward squeezed my hand tightly, knowing how difficult this was for me. The fact that we even had to visit Carlisle today when we should be in school was terrifying proof that I couldn’t control myself. Would my life ever be normal again? Would I begin to hurt everyone I loved? Would I drive them all away with my frightening behavior? The fact that I couldn’t say for sure put even zaidi pressure on my terror-stricken heart.
We stepped into the emergency room waiting area and I stiffened at the scent of blood that permeated the air. If I still had to breathe, the breath would have been knocked out of me. Instantly venom flooded my mouth and I choked it back. I had never once found the air around me so thick with the scent of blood; it was unnerving and mouthwatering at the same time. I had to wonder once again how Carlisle could do it, how could anyone have the willpower to withstand the thirst siku after day?
I could pinpoint the exact location of the blood in the room. A man and what must have been his wife were sitting in a corner, a towel was wrapped tightly around his arm to minimize the blood lost, but I could still see it seeping through the thin cloth. I took a step toward them, breathing in the heady, delicious aroma. It was getting hard to think of anything but the scent of blood and the venom pooling in my mouth.
“Bella?” Edward asked in a low voice, affectively breaking into my thoughts which were getting darker with every passing moment.
I turned to him and saw worry etched in the perfect lines of his face. Obviously he hadn’t needed to hear my thoughts to know what they were. I shrugged sheepishly, was it my fault that the scent of blood was so delicious to me? Not that I would ever act upon my desires, it was just part of our life as vampires. Though, I had to admit that the smell was affecting me zaidi than it usually did.
I frowned at that revelation. Oh great, not only was I hurting Edward on a regular basis lately, the smell of blood was becoming zaidi and zaidi desirable to me. “Um, I think I need to step outside,” I muttered to him, “Can wewe ask Carlisle to talk to us in the courtyard?”
I hated the fact that I was feeling weak enough to have to ask for that. I hadn’t ever Lost control of myself in the ten years I had spent as a member of the Cullen family… what the hell was going on with me now?
Edward let go of my hand reluctantly and I could feel his eyes on my back as I made my way out of the hospital. As the cool, pine scented air hit my face I felt the blood lust slink away. I took several deep breaths; each helped clear my head just a bit more. I knew that if I had waited to head outside for even another dakika I would have been overcome kwa the scent of blood circulating through that tiny hospital room.
There was a willow mti on the hospital grounds ahead of me, its many branches swaying in the gentle wind. It was an inviting picture, I couldn’t ignore the human part of me that longed to lounge under the mti and enjoy the breeze.
I was making my way toward the mti at a leisurely human pace when I sensed something close by. Instantly my body stiffened in anticipation of what was coming. I could tell that it was another vampire, no it was a coven, and their scents so similar it was hard to tell how many there were. It was a powerful, compelling smell, unlike any other vampire’s scent I had ever experienced. It confused and frightened me.
Suddenly I heard a soft growling and I flinched before I realized that it was coming from me. I wasn’t used to the overwhelming need to protect myself and my family; I hadn’t had to guard my family since the confrontation with the Volturi ten years ago. The fact that the scent of this coven wasn’t familiar wasn’t comforting to me. If anything it made me zaidi nervous.
I turned toward the woods that Edward and I had just ran through dakika before, I knew that they were in there waiting. What I didn’t know was why.
I began to inch my way back to hospital, keeping my eyes on the forest, sweeping my eyes back and forth across the green curtain of leaves. Any moment now and they would be leaving the shelter of the woods and coming toward me.
At the moment when I could stand it no longer and was preparing to flee into the comfort of the hospital walls a figure strode out of the forest and I stopped dead in my tracks. It was a female vampire of such diminutive stature that I at first took her for a child before noticing her very feminine shape. She looked around, presumably to see if the two of us had any company (human au otherwise), before dancing her way to my side.
She took my hand the moment she reached me and looked into my eyes for several long moments. Apparently she liked what she saw because she grinned broadly and put a gentle hand on my hair. “We know what wewe are and we know wewe need help, your powers are young yet. If wewe want our help in figuring out what wewe are and what wewe can do, meet us in the woods north of town at midnight.” Before I could respond to this bizarre statement she was heading back to the woods, not daring to look behind her to see if I would follow.
I was still standing there, staring at the forest when Edward and Carlisle found me a few dakika later.
“Bella?” Edward asked cautiously.
I didn’t know what to say, I just gestured to the woods and hoped that they would be able to smell the coven that had been there just a few moments ago. I wanted them to be able to smell the mysterious coven too, I was afraid that I was going mad. The whole encounter with the tiny woman seemed so dreamlike that I would have assumed I had nodded off, except for the fact that it was impossible for our kind to fall asleep.
Edward wrapped his arms around my shoulders and turned me to look at him. “What happened?”
“There were others here,” Carlisle alisema suddenly as the wind blew the scent toward us. Edward’s face grew taut and closed off. I could tell he was thinking things that he didn’t want to share with me, but I wasn’t going to let that happen today. Too many strange things had happened in the past two days; I refused to be kept out of the loop on things that involved me.
“What are wewe thinking about?” Carlisle asked him before I could do the same. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who refused to let Edward keep his thoughts to himself today.
“Did wewe see them au just smell them?” Edward asked me urgently, gripping the juu of my shoulders. I thought for a moment that he was going to shake the answer out of me, his eyes were so intense.
“A small woman came out of the trees and alisema they knew what I was and they wanted to help me. She alisema if I wanted their help to meet them in the woods north of town at midnight,” I told him. Edward seemed stunned. It obviously wasn’t the answer he had been expecting.
Carlisle took a step towards the woods, sniffing the air and frowning. “Edward, there is something familiar about this coven’s scent,” he alisema quietly.
We both turned to Carlisle, surprise and curiosity in our eyes. “Something familiar and yet wewe can’t quite place it,” Edward said, finishing Carlisle’s thought aloud. He nodded, his brow furrowed in concentration. After a few moments he gave me a thoughtful look and Edward gripped me tighter, as if he didn’t like what Carlisle was thinking.
“No,” Edward alisema stiffly, in answer to an unspoken question.
“Edward,” Carlisle alisema quietly, soothingly, “you have to admit that it’s true. Bella’s scent has changed slightly in the past two days. It’s become stronger, more… compelling.” He gave me a smile that I assumed was supposed to be apologetic but I ignored it, I was zaidi interested in his assumption that I was different than I had been.
“Do I really smell different?” I asked curiously.
“As I said, I’ve only met two succubi before, but your scent is shifting Bella… it’s zaidi intense now. I don’t think there is any doubt as to what wewe are anymore, wewe smell like a succubi,” Carlisle said, his voice heavy and a bit weary.
“Those women… Carlisle!” I gasped, suddenly knowing exactly what Edward had been thinking and what Carlisle had known kwa scent. Compelling, yes, that was the word Carlisle had used to explain my scent but it was also the word I had used to explain the covens strange scent, was he saying...
“The coven in the woods, were they Succubi?”
He nodded grimly, “I have no doubts that they are succubi.” He paused, looking at Edward’s equally grim face, “and obviously they know that wewe are too.”